MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
The sequestration’s impact will be directly felt by federal employees who will take home 20 percent less beginning in late April. For many, this means less cash for rent, mortgages, automobile payments and other living expenses.
It’s a tough measure, but while the roughly 8,500 civilians facing furlough aboard Quantico prepare to tighten their financial belt, the base is working to find relief options.
“The base is in the process of trying to accumulate as much information as possible to find out what’s out there to assist federal employees,” said Louis Bromley, personal finance manager for the Personal Financial Management Program at Quantico. “We are talking with mortgage companies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and anybody who we can get an ear with in the area.”
Bromley said their goal is to provide civilian employees with information on assistance, financial planning options, and tools to help combat their sudden loss in income.
Despite furloughs, Col. David Maxwell, Marine Corps Base Quantico commander wants civilians to know their importance to the base.
“The service and support that they provide everyday really makes it possible for Marines to carry out their mission,” Maxwell said during a town hall last week, where he addressed the impact of sequestration with civilian employees.
With nearly 44 percent of Marine Corps’ 19,400 civilian workforce at Quantico, their role not only serves as a vital component to the base but Marine Corpswide.
More information on possible assistance for civilians will be available in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, employees are encouraged to start reorganizing their budget.
“Review where you’re at, factor in your loss of pay, and then restructure your budget,” Bromley said.
Basically, no more frills.
“Decide what can you do without, whether it’s cable, reducing cell phone usage or entertainment expenses,” he
However, if the shortage jeopardizes essential bills like the mortgage or rent, Bromley recommends getting a head start on negotiating payment options.
“Don’t wait until your check comes home short, call now and let them know this will happen in April,” he said.
Flexibility in payment policies typically depend on individual companies and a customer’s track record with that company. However, since the sequestration’s ripple effects are likely to affect businesses in the Washington Metro Area, the hope is for mutual understanding and support.
“In order for companies to weather the storm themselves, they’re going to have to at least attempt to negotiate, accommodate and work with their customers,” Bromley said.
The Personal Financial Management Program provides free personal financial education, training, counseling, and information to Department of Defense employees. For information on their services visit, www.quantico.usmc-mccs.org or call 703-784-2650.
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